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After the American Civil War

Few people know about my fascination with the Civil War. I don’t talk about it. Guess I figure most are not that interested in American history. But here’s Memorial Day again. I read about that war, listen to programs about it, watch movies about it, but I don’t talk about it. Since I was 16 years old, I’ve been trying to process the conflict, issues, traumas, the sad stories I’ve heard that came from the Civil War era. (I had a wonderful American History teacher in high school.) This war happened because southern states were seceding from the union, one right after another, calling themselves the Confederate States of America. This followed the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in No

Another Loss

Night sky frays to early day. A kind light approaches above the mountains. This is the day my friend leaves her home to catch a plane. She is moving to an eastern state where she will live out her remaining years, near family. It’s a good plan, but it’s hard for me to cheer for her and give thanks for another loss for me. Everything fell into place for her, all at once—real estate agent, movers, doctors, children saying, “Mom, come to us. Come now. It’s time.” Amazing and beautiful. So. It fell out of place for me. What’s left is for me to accept another friend leaving our state, leaving to live somewhere else, in order to take care of needs and health. Suddenly, I am tired. I drag myself to

The Day Before Mother’s Day

I know I’m a mother, but my mind is still on what happened yesterday in Walmart. That’s right. I ventured out because I needed a prescription. My husband had been taking all the risks. I knew it was my turn, long overdue. What risks, you may wonder, since I’d been home far longer than 14 days in a row? The risk of picking up coronavirus and passing it on to someone who dies from standing too close to me. You know, of course, that’s why so many are staying home, right? They know it’s bigger than themselves. What I saw at Walmart was that 60% (my guesstimate) of the people were unmasked. I was surprised. I have no idea how to read that. Worse for me was how I struggled with who I became behind


It’s the third day of May. The purple irises I dug up from your yard are blooming their heads off, as you’d always say. The grass is green and jubilant. Jimmy cannot keep up with it on the mower. Leaves on trees are popping. The lilac bush, generous this year—oh, the fragrance. As of today, you’ve been gone eight years. Mama, you are missing the most beautiful spring ever. However, we’ve had rains galore, and tornadoes have sent countless people into basements and closets more than once. When it was time to go to bed, Jimmy turned off the lights and said, “It looks like a bad night for northeast Arkansas.” Those spring clouds still rumble from west to east. Nothing new for you on that. Peopl

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